Song of the day: BURIAL – Night Bus (2006)

Burial’s self-titled album was hailed as the best of the year by the critics of The Wire magazine at the end of 2006. Now, a year on from its release, it is still difficult to argue with that assessment. South Londoner Burial is a reticent chap, and little is known about him. But there was already a growing buzz about him on the dubstep scene before the album was issued. The record, however, is not a genre defining one. Its an eclectic work that tears up the dubstep blueprints and plays by its own rules, incorporating elements from many different fields of electronic music. It’s a record with cross-genre appeal, but not a crossover album. This is gleefully barrier mashing music of an enquiring kind that should appeal to fans of all kinds of experimental music.

“Night Bus” is not a typical track (although this is not an album that has such a thing as a typical track). It is beatless and barely more than a couple of minutes in length. It is not uncommon in drum and bass, techno and other fairly relentless beat based music for artists to offer these kind of calm interludes in amongst the general mayhem. But there’s something about “Night Bus” that sets it apart from your standard moody ambient interlude. With the splatter of the rain, and the distant flute-sounding synth chords it exudes a sense of narcoleptic sadness coupled with a slight hint of menace that takes the listener to that grubby bus stop in the capital in the early hours of the morning – just wanting to get home and to bed. It never fails to weave its spell, and always feels like it’s over far too quickly.

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